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  1. #21
    magnolia1973's Avatar
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    It doesn't at all sound like how we get fat to me. It sounds like how we're told we get fat, but it doesn't sound at all like the way I've observed it to actually happen.
    ? I don't know. I spend a lot of time with horses. In a barn, you may have a very fat horse that eats very little, and a thin horse that eats a ton. If I feed my fat horse more, he just gets fatter. If I feed my thin horse less, he gets thinner. There may be diagnosable issues (commonly ulcers in a thin horse, metabolic diseases in a fat one). But in a lot of cases, metabolism is genetic (you take it back to the breed). Very rare to see a fat TB, under any feeding program; very uncommon to see a thin QH unless they are being very purposefully starved.

    Then you factor in the physical activity- the heavy horse may be in hard work and lean. The thin horse may be nervous and fretful. But I can't do much to make it so that the heavy horse can eat more like the thin horse; and we are controlling for behavior and environment.

    It would be really cool if you could increase your metabolism by eating more. But I don't know, I don't have much desire to eat an extra 500 calories of whole foods. Yeah, if I could increase it and eat what I do right now, plus I could add in say, 500 calories of paleo treats, I'd be all over that. But to add in a few more eggs and some veggies unless I was hungry doesn't seem worth it.

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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    ? I don't know. I spend a lot of time with horses. In a barn, you may have a very fat horse that eats very little, and a thin horse that eats a ton.
    A. There's obese horses?!
    B. This goes against the theory that your horse got fat because he eats too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    If I feed my fat horse more, he just gets fatter.
    Is that how he got fat in the first place? You messed up and fed him too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    If I feed my thin horse less, he gets thinner.
    And again, did you make him that way by underfeeding him?

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    There may be diagnosable issues (commonly ulcers in a thin horse, metabolic diseases in a fat one). But in a lot of cases, metabolism is genetic (you take it back to the breed). Very rare to see a fat TB, under any feeding program; very uncommon to see a thin QH unless they are being very purposefully starved.
    So the horses don't get fat because you overfeed them? Or do they? I'm failing to follow this argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    Then you factor in the physical activity- the heavy horse may be in hard work and lean. The thin horse may be nervous and fretful. But I can't do much to make it so that the heavy horse can eat more like the thin horse; and we are controlling for behavior and environment.
    I just learned that there even exists such a thing as an obese horse. Are they found in nature, or only in a domesticated situation? Is it because we feed them something other than a biologically appropriate diet? Or are there genetic oddities from our breeding practices? I'm still not sure how any of this supports your argument that we get fat by overeating.

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia1973 View Post
    It would be really cool if you could increase your metabolism by eating more. But I don't know, I don't have much desire to eat an extra 500 calories of whole foods. Yeah, if I could increase it and eat what I do right now, plus I could add in say, 500 calories of paleo treats, I'd be all over that. But to add in a few more eggs and some veggies unless I was hungry doesn't seem worth it.
    You do increase your metabolism by eating more, the question is whether the effect is either A. enough to overcome the extra calories (nobody's claiming this is the case) or B. persistent enough to result in a net weight loss after normal eating habits have been resumed.

    I'm not a woman, and I've never been overweight. But I see a lot of stories of women on here who are eating less all day than I eat for lunch a lot of the time, and I'm a small guy. And the more they undereat, the less they seem to burn off. It's a cycle that I don't wish on any of you, and I'm glad the OP has the courage to at least try a different approach. I applaud her.

  3. #23
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    As far as obese horses, some owners like to baby them, feed them things like grains (sweet feed) and oats, to horses that don't do anything to earn it. Then they just get fat. When I first got horses a decade ago, I thought as a good horse owner, I should feed it grain. My vet said, stop it. If they aren't working, they dont need it. Winter time might be the exception when they need to generate extra heat. Older horses having trouble keeping weight on might be another exception.

    Some horses have trouble with new spring grass. They overeat, or it's just too rich and they founder. Their necks get really thick, inflammation in the hooves, and before you know it you have a lame horse. You have to take them off the pasture and dry lot them, just give them hay. And once they founder, you will probably have trouble every year from then on. So I would say yes there might be those horses in the wild, that would get fat & founder the same as a pastured horse. But, if they had the ability to roam more to other types of grasses, I don't know about that. I don't know if some spring grasses are better/worse than others.

    Some horses, you can feed and feed and they don't gain due to parasites, due to teeth that need pulled, etc. Most of mine are geriatric now and some have a harder time keeping weight on, like my foxtrotter.

    I have also been seeing articles, though I havent read them, but I thought it was interesting to see articles discussing the affects of grains on horses.

    Anyways........ I had started to type a reply to this thread a half a dozen times, but then decided I didnt have much to contribute. But in the last few months, I have shifted macros around and trying to eat more calories. I did have a gain, though I am fairly certain it could not have been new fat, but now I think (hope) I am on the losing side of things now. I increased calories/carbs/energy so I feel like doing more activity now and I have been working out again. More activity also makes me more hungry. But I am okay with that. I feel much better.

    I was reading to eat your BMR and I have been hundreds and hundreds, sometimes closer to 1000 under that, for the last year. I have also started calorie cycling. Which is sort of a built in carb cycle also.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  4. #24
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    My cats are the same way. Every one of them would be too heavy given demand feeding. A couple of them could bloat up like beach balls. Now each gets a measured portion based on how much that cat can eat to maintain its girlish figure. The biggest cat and the smallest cat get the same (smallest) portion size, while others get more. I'm not counting the hyperthyroid twins, who eat a lot.

  5. #25
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    Im sure there is no naturally obese wild horse. Horses get fat just like us, not enough exercise, not the right diet, takin in chemicals from food and water sources.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Sometimes I do overeat and then I don't want to eat as much for a while. Note that this doesn't work the same if I overeat on chocolate mousse or something like that. It works when I overeat on real food.
    Thanks for this insight, I've had the same experience. Once I realised this, I stopped worrying about the possibility of eating too much, and began to trust myself to balance it out later. As long as it's all primal it does seem to work.

  7. #27
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    I've done it. Average 3000 calories in the summer with either 1-2 hours of walking or a heavy lifting day for exercise.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    My cats are the same way. Every one of them would be too heavy given demand feeding. A couple of them could bloat up like beach balls. Now each gets a measured portion based on how much that cat can eat to maintain its girlish figure. The biggest cat and the smallest cat get the same (smallest) portion size, while others get more. I'm not counting the hyperthyroid twins, who eat a lot.
    My dogs, they have food out all the time. And one is fixed, and normally fixed dogs get lazy and fat (I think probably due to grain based dog food) but anyways, it is weird they have food out all the time and hardly touch it but then one day they eat a ton. It's like days on end it's full, then the next time I look, almost empty.

    But we live in the country, so when they go outside, they like to go exploring. When I go out on the horse for a couple of hours, they go with me on foot. But the little chihuahua, I end up packing her. And when I go for my walks, they go with me and they go off exploring and come back to check up on me once in awhile.

    So they stay fairly active. They eat when hungry and get enough play time in. The fixed cats I have seen (and most fixed city house dogs too).... just get fat fat fat. When we had outside cats and food out 24/7, they stayed lean. (they were not fixed)

    This is way off topic... but................. my little chihuahua, long-hair, has had bad allergies - resulting in hair loss on her hind end and legs. I am sure it was the corn in the dog food. So I switched that but even before that, I started giving them more table scraps. Which I quit before, cuz it made them sick (processed, breads, leftover McDs, etc) but now with good foods and meats, I give them the scraps and she is doing so much better. I also give her a bowl of whey most daily, that I drained off my homemade yogurt. Sometimes I give them some of my bone broth. And when I have salmon and eggs, that is one of her favorites. And now her hair has almost all grown back in
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  9. #29
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    My point was that horses have varied metabolisms that generally follow genetics. So a Thoroughbred will have a higher metabolism then a Quarter Horse. You average QH is not fat due to the wrong type of food, or a ruined metabolism from yoyo dieting. They just require less calories than your average TB and are being overfed. The only solution is more work or less food.

    If I give the QH more food, he just gets fatter. His metabolism doesn't adjust.

    This also holds true if you just have a bunch of horses in a pasture and are not feeding them.

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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach View Post
    Im sure there is no naturally obese wild horse. Horses get fat just like us, not enough exercise, not the right diet, takin in chemicals from food and water sources.
    What is not natural for any creature, including humans, is to be surrounded with high caloric density ready-to-eat food. That's why our domestic animals get obese. Predators such as canids and felines in the wild normally rest until they get hungry, hunt down and kill something, eat it, and rest again until hungry.

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